Case # 16WF1821
San Clemente Man Sentenced to 24 years for Second Degree Murder of 10-Year-Old Girl While Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A 39-year-old man was sentenced today to 24 years to life for killing a 10-year-old girl while driving while he was under the influence of central nervous system depressants.
Adam John Kanas, of San Clemente, was found guilty in September 2019 of second-degree murder and one felony count of driving under the influence of drugs, causing injury. Kanas received two enhancements for inflicting great bodily injury.
On August 15, 2016 at approximately 9:20 a.m., Kanas was driving his 2013 Chevy Tahoe erratically at speeds of nearly 80 mph. He swerved across multiple lanes and the double yellow line into the carpool lane on northbound I-405 near the Seal Beach Boulevard Exit.
Donald Geddis was driving his Tesla with his two daughters, 10-year-old Kendra and 13-year-old Kayla, asleep in the back seat. Geddis was slowing for traffic while driving in the carpool lane when Kanas slammed into the rear of the Tesla at approximately 68 miles per hour, sending the Tesla into a Honda Civic.
Kendra died as a result of the impact. Her sister and father were seriously injured. Kanas was treated at the scene for minor injuries.
Kanas has a prior conviction for driving under the influence and a prior-strike conviction for first-degree burglary in Los Angeles County.
“Two young girls were peacefully asleep in their father’s car when a stranger who got behind the wheel while high changed this family’s life. His reckless actions killed a 10-year-old girl and seriously injured her father and sister,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “The consequences of drunk and drugged driving are very real and very deadly.”
Senior Deputy District Attorney Daniel Feldman of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.